The Philadelphia Eagles are a soft team, as proven by their last-second loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday. This trait will prevent them from being able to win a Super Bowl in 2012, and potentially beyond.
The Eagles are currently hanging around in the NFC East with a 3-2 record, but it is doubtful that will last with some of the traits the team exhibited against the Steelers.
While the Eagles have been able to get luck early this season with wins despite their lack of physicality on both sides of the ball, the Steelers showed Philadelphia that smash-mouth football still exists—and it wins games.
Let's examine what makes the Eagles soft and why it will prevent them from reaching the promised land.
Lack of Physicality on Offense
The Philadelphia Eagles are not fooling anyone, especially not opposing defensive coordinators. Andy Reid is going to make his team pass the majority of the game because the offensive line and the surrounding players are too soft to have a physical running game.
To be fair, LeSean McCoy is one of the best running backs in the NFL, which makes Reid and Co.'s softness so much more disappointing. The staff is doing a disservice to McCoy because they would rather air it out than utilize a top-5 back in a proper manner.
The Eagles are afraid to run the ball behind their smaller offensive line that utilized a zone-blocking scheme, which makes sense. It is simply not how Reid has built the offense.
Super Bowl-caliber teams need to have a physical running game, and the Eagles simply do not have one this year.
As a result, opposing teams are not worried about the Eagles' ability to run the ball, and that makes them one dimensional and an easy target.
A Defense No Team Fears
Philadelphia was supposed to have one of the better defenses in the league after picking up elite corner Nnamdi Asomugha and middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
That hasn't happened.
The Eagles are giving up over 20 points per game and opposing defenses are not afraid to run at all times. Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 81 yards with ease, despite having just returned from injury. Isaac Redman added another 41 yards against the shaky defense.
Asomugha and Co. were exposed by the Steelers receivers as well, making key catches en route to the victory. As great as Asomugha was supposed to be, he has failed to be the same player he was ever since coming from Oakland.
When opposing teams do not respect a defense and have seen that the unit will give up multiple third downs when it matters most, no team will fear their ability to move the ball.
Philadelphia does not have the worst defense statistically, but it is certainly a unit that teams now know they can take advantage of late in games.
Michael Vick and Andy Reid
It's no secret Michael Vick is soft.
In the losing effort against the Steelers, he fumbled the ball twice, which means he has fumbled seven times and thrown six interceptions in five contests. He has also been consistently hurt throughout his career, having played only one 16-game season in his 10-year career.
Vick is the perfect fit for Andy Reid, who has historically had soft teams in Philadelphia for the entirety of his tenure there.
As mentioned, Reid refuses to run the football. He also has failed time after time to build a contending defense and completely neglects the linebacker position. He has the personnel to counter passing attacks, but not to compete with physical running attacks.
As long as Reid is the head coach in Philadelphia, the Eagles will be a soft team similar to the current 2012 squad that simply does not have a shot at a Super Bowl.
The Eagles currently have a soft team, and until that changes, Philadelphia will not see a Lombardi Trophy.